Grass crews to reduce fire risk

By Riverine Herald

REGIONAL Roads Victoria (RRV) has started slashing grass in Echuca.

The annual roadside grass mowing program is expected to increase sight distance and reduce fire risk along the arterial road network.

RRV northern regional director Brian Westley said mowing crews would be out for the next couple of months on key arterial roads including the Murray Valley Hwy and Northern Hwy.

‘‘Timing our grass cutting season is crucial, which is why we’re getting started now to make sure we’re on top of spring growth and ahead of the peak fire restriction period,’’ Mr Westley said.

‘‘Safety is always our first priority and our crews are working tirelessly slashing grass as the weather heats up.’’

Mr Westley said the slashing program differed each year, based on rainfall, temperature and the time it took for the grass to grow.

‘‘The program is two-fold in that it not only supports preventative measures ahead of the bushfire season, it’s an important aspect of roadside safety by limiting the chance of fires should an accident occur,’’ Mr Westley said.

RRV works closely with councils and emergency services like the CFA with crews cutting up to 3m behind guideposts on major roadsides.

‘‘We’ll be slashing roadside reserves on the region’s 3800km arterial road network so we’re asking drivers to be aware and slow down when they enter a works zone,” Mr Westley said.

‘‘Our crews undertake number of treatments to maintain weeds and grass along the roadside safety barriers.’’

In North Central Victoria, the slashing program is expected to be completed across the region by early December, weather permitting.

‘‘During these works, speed and lane restrictions may be in place to keep drivers and workers safe and we thank the community for their patience,’’ Mr Westley said.

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